Richard Lietz didn't know he was fighting for victory on the last lap at Spa!

It was on the last lap of the 6 Hours of Spa that the crew of the No. 91 Manthey EMA Porsche (Yasser Shahin, Morris Schuring, Richard Lietz) took victory against its sister car, the No. 92.

Published on 12/05/2024 à 10:44

Michael Duforest

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Richard Lietz didn't know he was fighting for victory on the last lap at Spa!

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It was Richard Lietz who was in the Porsche for the last stint of these 6 Hours of Spa. After more than an hour under a red flag, the race was restarted for 104 minutes, during which the German had to come back! The Manthey EMA team was in fact not the most varnished by the interruption, even though the strategy seemed to be the right one to achieve a good result. When he overtook the #92 Porsche, after the #60 Lamborghini Iron Lynx stopped, Lietz did not know that this was an overtake for victory!

“I honestly don’t know how this all happened!” The red flag put us on the wrong side of the strategy a bit, because we were in a very good position after the stints of Yasser and Morris”, he explained at a press conference. “We were going to change drivers and 20 seconds earlier the red flag appeared. It was really bad luck for us from a strategic point of view. At that moment, I thought these two guys next to me were going to win the race and I wasn't even going to make the podium. If we win the race and I'm not even driving, it's a bit frustrating. »

“For me it was the right decision to finish. And from that moment on we were fighting for nothing, we said to ourselves that we were going to have good stints, and managing the tires well was the key to a good result. My engineer then told me that I was fifth, and that we might be fighting for the podium. Later he told me that I had just overtaken for the victory, I was surprised! The result surprised me but I think we deserved to fight for the podium or the victory. »

“I even started looking for plane flights earlier! »

For Yasser Shahin, the bronze pilot of the crew, this victory is not a miracle, but is nonetheless the fruit of methodical and hard work throughout the weekend. The Manthey EMA team did not get off to the best start in Free Practice, but managed to turn things around throughout the three days spent on the Ardennes slide.

“This weekend, we didn't have the ambition to finish where we are, but we made progress in each session. And when we got to qualifying, we thought we could fight for a good result. The start was quite good, I was very disciplined during the first two stints, and I brought the car back to the pits in third place. We had a pretty complicated pit stop, then Morris took us to the front of the race. The red flag came next. So I thought we would stop there, I even started looking for plane flights earlier! Then we said we could leave, the people did a very good job repairing the barrier. Then it was a masterclass, and we brought home the victory! »

The roller coaster at 19

Third member of the crew, Morris Schuring won in WEC at the age of 19: “Winning in the WEC at 19 is incredible, and with these teammates, it’s a great feeling. Today was definitely a roller coaster in terms of emotion. We were comfortably in the lead, we thought we could win easily, before the red flag, which destroyed all our chances. We were very disappointed at that time. But Richard then did a very good job, as did the team on the strategy. Taking the lead on the last lap, you can't do better! It's a victory we needed and deserve. »

After a difficult start to the season, the No. 91 Manthey EMA Porsche is in sixth place in the championship. With this victory, the team opens its points counter for the season at the best time, just before going to Sarthe, for the 24 Hours of Le Mans...

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